Small Budget Decorating

Jordan shared with you three posts about decorating small spaces, (here and here) and decorating a rental (here).  We got this great info at Haven, and all of this came from just one session put on by Not Just a Housewife and The Shabby Nest.  These ladies were loaded with info.  We also learned some great hints how about decorating on a small budget.




Bring nature in.  Use leaves instead of flowers.  I keep something in this little vase all year long.  In the summer I use fern fronds, in the fall I use feathers,  in the winter it holds twigs, and in the spring it holds small limbs from our shrubs.  It’s all free and seasonal.



Make something plain special.  Put interesting rocks in a bowl or or even in a silver dish.  I gathered these stones in Zimbabwe, and yes, I actually carried them home on the plane.  This is something your kids can help you with, and they will get some ownership on the decorating decisions in your house.




Buy tiny bouquets at the market, and make them last as long as possible by changing the water daily and snipping off the ends and changing the vases as the flowers get smaller.  Better yet, use flowers from your garden – even flowers you typically don’t think of for a bouquet.  This little vase holds a fern frond, a stem of rosemary, a geranium, and pansy.  None of these are normally used in traditional arrangements.



Baby Table Turned Bar


Paint, paint, paint.  I feel as if I’m preaching to the choir on this one.  I don’t need to say another thing about paint.  And while you are painting, try repurposing.  For instance, this great bar was once a baby changing table.  All it took was paint and time to make the transformation.




Shop your house and make great art from what you find.   Hang plates.    Frame some old keys or old silverware from your grandma.  Maps make great and interesting art as do fun restaurant place mats and menus.  Jordan framed the menu from her and Mr. Spring’s first date and gave it to him for a wedding gift.  He loved it.  Framed fabric works well, too.  Use some cute note cards.  Even an old game can become art.  I love what Jordan did with these Scrabble letters.


 Painted Striped Curtains


Add trim to what you have.  Rick rack and ribbon on curtains are a great way to add a pop of color on a dime.  Or you can buy inexpensive plain white curtains and paint them with stripes or stencil them.  It just takes some time and measuring and a little paint.


 Another great way to have unusual accessories is to buy some used lamps at garage sales and thrift stores.  Be sure their electrical components are working and safe.  Spray paint and buy or make interesting shades.  I stole found this lamp from our son’s stash that is being stored in our basement.  It was faux brass with a plain white shade.  A can of spray paint and a Target shade later, and it looks fab on our kitchen peninsula.



DIY Nautical Candles

Wrap things in twine to create cute little holders.  Tin cans work, or you can even wrap thrift store glass containers with rope, and it can either look nautical or give it an autumnal look.




Buy an old magazine or book at a flea market or online and frame the vintage ads as art.  This bird came from a British children’s book.



Use sheets instead of fabric for big projects.  You can almost always find sheets for sale on the end of an aisle at Home Goods, TJ Maxx or Marshall’s.  Sheets can make great shower curtains, curtains, table cloths, dust ruffles and shams and sheets!!! Imagine that!  You can also cut them up to make new covers for the throw pillows on your sofa.  I used sheets for a shower curtain for my mom.



Mail Box to Bread Box


Think outside of the box.  Use ordinary items like bread boxes to store more than just bread.  They would be great for sewing notions, desk items, make-up, photos, jewelry, and much more.  Be creative!!!  My mom turned a mail box into a bread box for me.


Whew!! We’re not finished on this topic, but you’ve been loaded down with enough info for one day.  Be sure to check out the links in this post to see the projects we mentioned, and we’ll share some more small budget decorating tips soon.


Take care.


Linking to Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style.


Take care.


  1. Paula B. says

    Great ideas here, I like the look of the mini bouquets of flowers, so sweet. As far as pictures – I have even matted and framed a cute placemat that I found at the Christmas Tree Shop (a local bargain chain). It depicted a vignette of popsicles in bright summer hues that I wanted to enjoy year round, so on the wall it went.

  2. Kathy says

    I am also new to your blog. I came over from Southern Hospitality. I love your simple-why-didn’t-I -think-of-that ideas. I take away something from every post. Thank you!